‘A Chorus Line’ dancing across Geyer stage
For Marina Stefano of Bullskin, Fayette County, performing in “A Chorus Line” at Geyer Performing Arts Center is a real test of her stamina.
In addition to choreographing the musical, she also plays Diana, whom she describes as “a fun-loving and sarcastic character,” a part that requires her, among other things, to execute a 12-minute dance number directly followed by singing a full song.
“The thing I like a lot about Diana is at the end of the show you really get to see a softer side of her,” Stefano says.
She also was in the cast of a 2011 production of the show at the Geyer Theater and says “A Chorus Line” holds a special place in her heart.
“Growing up, my dream was to be a professional ballerina,” she says. “That all ended when I injured my knee. This show really reflects the lives of auditioning dancers and the struggles they go through.”
Winner of nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, “A Chorus Line” takes a look at one day in the lives of 17 dancers, all of them trying out for a place in the chorus line of a Broadway musical.
“This is an excellent opportunity for theatergoers to get a glimpse into the audition process that performers know all too well. Auditioning is the part of the show that no one ever gets a chance to see,” says Justin Williams of Uniontown, who portrays Zach, the director, who takes special interest in getting to know the dancers he hires.
Rachael Szabo of Connellsville, who directs the Geyer PAC production with Tyler Handford of Uniontown, says the musical’s attributes include “beautiful music, incredible choreography and a well-written script packed with laughs, drama and clever storytelling.”
“We have an awesome group of hardworking actors, who are extremely dedicated to this show. It’s their story, so it’s coming from a very real place,” she says.
A large group of 35 people make up the cast, which includes 18 main characters.
“We have an eclectic group of people, ranging in experience level as far as dance is concerned,” says Szabo. “We have people that have danced their whole lives and some who only dance when they have to in a show. Everyone is working so incredibly hard to get their choreography down, and their hard work is paying off. They are looking wonderful.”
“Everyone is dancing it so well it’s hard to tell which ones have had formal dance training and which ones may be dancing for the first time,” adds Handford, who says he has waited a long time to direct “A Chorus Line,” his “favorite musical of all time.”
The score by Marvin Hamlisch, with lyrics by Edward Kleban, features the snappy finale ensemble song and dance number, “One,” which in itself is a number worth waiting for.
The directors recommend that parents research the musical before bringing anyone under age 16. The show is rated PG-13 for adult content and language.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.